Regardless of who said it:
- The more things change the more they stay the same – Jean-Baptiste Alfonso Karr
- There is nothing new under the sun – Ecclesiastes 1:9
- Meet the new boss, same as the old boss – The Who
and when they said it, those quotes are the pithiest description of the political process ever issued. So, with that theme in mind, let’s follow up on some of our favorite Kane County Chairman shenanigans.
The FOIA response is in!
As promised! When I was convinced that all the bills were in, I “encouraged” the County Board Office to share them with me, and thanks to that fine FOIA statute, they did!
For reference purposes, we’re talking about the witch hunt instigated and conducted by KCASO Civil Division head Michelle Niermann. As is so typical for that abundantly vindictive office, Neirmann embarked on a crusade to get rid of former KC Human Resources Director Sylvia Wetzel simply because she had the temerity to stand up to her.
Not to mention that Niermann’s attorney husband regularly represents County employees’ workman’s comp claims, and Wetzel correctly fought them tooth and nail. No conflict of interest there, right?
But they couldn’t just fire Wetzel, could they? Nope! They had to cover their ample asses by hiring an outside law firm to conduct a “thorough” investigation and then terminate Wetzel regardless of the findings.
So, let’s add up the cost for this kangaroo court:
$30,000 – of salary and benefits while Wetzel was on a 2-month administrative leave
$30,000 – in Kane County staff time*
$41,324 – for the “independent” law firm investigation
* This is an estimate because the FOIA law prohibits forcing a government entity to create a list that doesn’t already exist.
As one of my favorite attorneys said, “$40,000 in billing for 2 months??? I need some clients like that!”
And that, Dear Taxpayer, comes to a total $101,324 to fire an employee who had no employment contract and could’ve been terminated for no particular reason at any time. What that total doesn’t include, however, is the inevitable six-figure lawsuit, which the KCSAO will inevitably settle because it ain’t their money!
You can read the complete FOIA response right here!
Though it’s the money that matters here, what also bothers me is, when State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser and I first met to explore the possibility of her running, she looked me directly in the eye and swore she would never tolerate this kind of bullshit KCSAO bullying tactic if she was elected.
That tells you all you need to know about her character or the abject lack thereof.
Pay-to-play is alive and well in Kane County!
Buckle your seatbelts because this one is even better than the last one!
If you believe the Illinois State Board of Elections – and I do – as required by law, Kane County Chairman Corinne Pierog reported a $1,500 March 30 contribution from the Elgin Township Democrats. Nothing unusual there because that kind of thing happens all the time.
But here’s where it gets a little more interesting!
On May 18, the always-on-the-ball folks at the ISBE reached out to Pierog noting that, while she duly reported that donation, it was nowhere to be found in the Elect Corinne Pierog Committee quarterly report, as required by law.
As you will note in the attached correspondence, Pierog replied that the A1 report was filed in error. Yes! Because every elected official has nothing better to do than to report contributions they never received.
Here’s how it works folks! On the quarters ending March, June, September and December, the candidate/elected official, or their committee treasurer, sits down with copies of contribution checks and individually enters them into the State’s IDIS campaign disclosure database system.
So please tell me, unless they were three sheets to the wind, without some sort of paperwork directly in front of them, how could any elected official report a contribution they never received? Sure! Mistakes can be made (I once made an infamous one!), but in my 15 years at the keyboard, I’ve NEVER heard of anyone reporting a phantom donation.
So, why would Chairman Pierog want to disavow herself of an Elgin Township Democrat contribution?
Oh! That’s easy!
Because that’s about the time when a source noted that former Elgin Township Supervisor Franklin Ramirez suddenly had a Kane County email address. I’m sure you remember Franklin! He’s the former Democratic Elgin Township Supervisor who, among many other things, took ten weeks of vacation in just three months!
Clearly as a result of that $1,500 quid-pro-quo, Pierog hired Ramirez to market her redistricting town hall meetings despite Ramirez’ utter lack of marketing experience and even less of a work ethic. If my source hadn’t caught on to that email address, I’m convinced Pierog would’ve hired Ramirez outright.
When The First Ward, and later the Kane County Chronicle, exposed the “hire,” fearing the obvious pay-to-play implications, Pierog ripped up the check disavowed that $1,500 contribution faster that Donald Trump can claim the election was stolen.
And Pierog’s response to the ISBE is pure unadulterated bullshit, “I appreciate your understanding as I begin to re-learn the IL State Board of Elections campaign contributions reporting platform.”
Really? Pierog has run more political campaigns that Lar “America First” Daly (look it up), including three state senate runs, and she suddenly has to “re-learn” how to enter a contribution? Right! Again, I’ve used the IDIS system at great length, and while typos are always a possibility, considering the steps involved, entering a non-contribution is a virtual impossibility.
So, much for Pierog’s campaign promise of integrity, transparency, and treating everyone with the utmost respect, because pay-to-play is alive and well in Kane County!
Whoa! I think I just saw the ghost of politics post and that spirit bore an awfully strong resemblance to former Chairman McConnaughay. Talk about terrifying!